Fred Gordon and Rhonda Holmes, partners in the San Diego-based law firm Gordon & Holmes, have donated $200,000 to California Western School of Law to support the school's trial teams.
In addition to providing general support for the trial teams, Gordon and Holmes have created an endowed student award.
The annual Gordon & Holmes Oral Advocacy Award will benefit a student or multiple students who demonstrate the highest level of trial skills. Gordon and Holmes see this as a way to help the future generation of trial attorneys.
"We determined that a donation to California Western School of Law would be instrumental in educating law students – as best as a law school can – on what life is like in the real world, in terms of developing the oral advocacy and trial presentation skills necessary to build rewarding legal careers,” said Gordon, a 1981 graduate of California Western School of Law.
The law firm’s gift to California Western is the outcome of a class action settlement with U.S. Smokeless Tobacco, which was settled by Gordon & Holmes and other California attorneys in 2009 for $102 million.
A total of $3.45 million was distributed to San Diego legal societies, organizations and charities as part of $40 million in cy pre awards in the case.
The California Western trial teams are led by distinguished professor Mario Conte, former executive director of Federal Defenders of San Diego.